What are these Mystery Metal Grains? Cobalt?
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  1. #1
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    Default What are these Mystery Metal Grains? Cobalt?

    Found a few lbs of it in an induction furnace that I bought in auction...

    These are oxidized metal grains. The oxidation color is bluish and
    most closely resembles blueberries, though I am somewhat color blind.

    It is NOT magnetic and looks dull grey if I grind off the oxidation.


    Any idea what this metal is? Could it be cobalt?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20190821_180951.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by ichudov View Post
    Found a few lbs of it in an induction furnace that I bought in auction...

    These are oxidized metal grains. The oxidation color is bluish and
    most closely resembles blueberries, though I am somewhat color blind.

    It is NOT magnetic and looks dull grey if I grind off the oxidation.


    Any idea what this metal is? Could it be cobalt?
    Looks radioactive!

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    Let's say it is Cobalt? What would you do with it? Cast something out of it?

    Brent

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    If it's not magnetic, why would you assume it's cobalt?

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    Wild guess - molybdenum granules with an oxide variant on the surface from heating in air?

    Molybdenum dioxide - Wikipedia can have a brownish-violet color, trioxide can be yellow or light blue.

    If you're feeling daring, hold a large granule with pliers and try grinding a face flat to see the metal surface (presuming it is a metallic in there). Don't breath the dust...

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    Find a scrapyard with an alloy gun

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    Measure the density, that should solve it if it's not an alloy.
    Weigh a small pile and then measure the volume by dropping them in a graduated cylinder with some water.
    Afterwards, you can run around town naked shouting "eureka!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStretch View Post
    Afterwards, you can run around town naked shouting "eureka!"
    Just, umm, wear some clothes...

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    Thanks, guys. I will take them to a scrap yard to scan with an XRF gun.

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    Because it is blue you think cobalt?
    What did this furnace process or do?
    As a kid we would sprinkle cobalt in the lake, excellent at controlling weeds around the dock to have a nice swimming area.
    Maybe not such a good idea overall but a very common practice not that long ago.
    Right along with need to control the weeds on the driveway, a sprinkler can of gasoline works well.
    Mosquito foggers a ways back in the 60s, oh my, .... Dad was trying to kill us all.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Mosquito foggers a ways back in the 60s, oh my, .... Dad was trying to kill us all.
    Bob
    You think your dad was bad? My pop would set the kids on fire and have us run around the back yard to kill the mosquitoes...

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    Now that is bad.

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    It could be cobalt.

    Or not.

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    Maybe cesium. Do you still have a hand?

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    The photo looks a lot like old musket balls or maybe copper. Hit one with a hammer. Is it soft?

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    Cobalt is ferromagnetic. If they are metalic and non-magnetic, then not cobalt.

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    We scanned it at a scrap yard today. This appears to be mostly copper phosphate. 81% copper, 12% phosphorus.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20190824_115008.jpg  

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    Neat to get an answer. I wonder if the material is a remnant from some other process they were doing, or whether those pellets were the goal. Quite a mix of alloys there.

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    It’s not copper phosphate. Other than copper and phosphorus the other elements are all in the noise. Phosphorus copper is a common casting alloy. The phosphorus deoxidizes the copper. Usually about 15% phosphorus. Clearly this is what you have. See here:
    Phosphorus-Copper Alloys


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Hoffman View Post
    ....Hit one with a hammer. Is it soft?
    That's what she said.


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